48 Hours Mystery: The murder of Andrew Kissel

Who killed a real estate mogul charged with swindling $40 million?

Produced by Lisa Freed and Gail Zimmerman

Greenwich, Conn., is one of the ritziest zip codes in the nation.

"Some of the richest, wealthiest people in America live in Greenwich. And, you know, Andrew wanted to ... play the part," says FBI special investigator Steve Garfinkel.

It's where 46-year-old Andrew Kissel hoped to make his name in real estate. Instead, in 2006, he became the community's most infamous murder victim.

"I was shocked. I was stunned," says Phil Russell, Andrew's attorney.

Russell says his client was just days from pleading guilty to bank fraud in court.

"It was a complete surprise that this would happen to him," Russell tells "48 Hours Mystery" correspondent Erin Moriarty.

"This is a man who had hurt a lot of people," Moriarty notes.

"But it was money," Russell says. "And for a bank fraud case to have this type of violence is just unusual."

Andrew was found dead the morning of Monday, April 3, 2006. He and his family were in the process of moving. Andrew had stayed behind in their rented mansion; the movers discovered his body.

"I went up there," Garfinkel says. "The crime scene unit was up there."

Police brought in the FBI special investigator to identify Andrew's body.

"How often are you asked to I.D. the body of a homicide?" Moriarty asks.

"I'm a white collar guy," Garfinkel replies. "This was the only time this happened in my career."

Kissel's body was in the basement.

"The first time I met Andrew Kissel was when I saw him layin' there in his boiler room," says Greenwich Police Detective Pasquale Iorfino. "He was bound and gagged. There was a lotta blood all over the concrete floor."

Andrew's hands and feet were bound. He was blindfolded and stabbed multiple times.

"I believe the final blow may have been to the jugular, he bled out. He bled out a lot," Iorfino says, calling the scene "very brutal. No one wants to die that way. Extremely brutal."

There was no sign of a struggle and no forced entry. Police quickly concluded this was not a random crime.

Andrew Kissel, they discovered, had a long list of enemies.

"He told me, 'A lot of people hate me,'" says Carlos Trujillo, Andrew's long-time driver and personal assistant. Trujillo says his boss may have had a premonition.

"He told me many times, you know, a lot of people - you know - want to kill him," he tells Moriarty.

Andrew Kissel's violent death brought to an end a life once brimming with promise. He grew up in New Jersey, the oldest of three children in an upwardly mobile family.

"He came from a good family, a loving family ... an educated family," says Carol Horton.

Horton dated Andrew's kid brother, Robert in high school and knew all the Kissels.

"I never saw any problems. I saw a happy family," she recalls.

Their father, Bill Kissel, was a successful businessman who had high expectations for his sons.

Asked if he was tough on the boys," Horton tells Moriarty, "Yeah, he was. ...He set down rules and expected them to be followed."

"Do you think that things came as easily for Andrew as they came for Rob?"

"No. I think Andy worked a little harder," Horton says. "He had a very monotone personality type. You know..."

"As opposed to Rob..."

"Yeah, who was just very gregarious, very loving, very outspoken. They were two totally different people. They were night and day. Night and day."

Danny Williams lived just around the corner.

"I remember playing basketball here on this driveway. We'd also play wiffle ball here everyday," he says. And games of Monopoly, where the brothers chose the very roles they would later assume for real: Robert the future financier.

"If it was Monopoly he had to be the banker," he says. [Always?] "Always and Andy would have to be the real estate guy."

Even as a young man, Andrew was already building an image.

"He always wanted to impress, he liked to show off what he had, you know...Status, he liked to show status," says Williams.

By 1990, Andrew was an up and coming real estate developer in New York City.

"He was successful financially when he started. And, he had a nice life sorta laid out in front of him. All he had to do was stay on the path," explains Russell.

He had married Hayley Wolff, a financial analyst from a prominent family, who had been a world champion skier. Ten years later, he had it all: Two children, a ski house in Vermont, and an apartment in a New York co-op where he served as treasurer.

"Everybody kinda wanted to kiss up a little bit to Andrew," Brian Howie says. "So I got the impression Andrew was pretty important."

Andrew soon had his hand and cash in everything: Horses, an olive oil business. He even invested in a play produced by Howie.

"I thought he had good taste, which - which was flattering to me on a on a creative level," he says.

Andrew spared no expense to amuse himself and his friends and was living large.

Howie says Andrew had 85-90 foot yacht, a couple of jet skis and "30-some" cars.

"That seemed like a guy who just - was looking for things that - to do to have fun with his money, like he couldn't spend it fast enough," he continues.

As Andrew's spending and behavior spiraled out of control, some friends blamed his actions on a tragic event 8,000 miles away in Hong Kong.

"It's an unbelievable tragedy," Russell says. "It's just lightning striking twice in the same place."